In This Issue

Safety and Environmental Management Systems on the OCS – Final Rule

Docket ID BOEM-2010-0046; RIN 1010-AD15

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) has finalized regulations to require operators to develop and implement Safety and Environmental Management Systems (SEMS) for oil and gas and sulphur operations in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). This rulemaking will incorporate in its entirety and make mandatory the American Petroleum Institute’s Recommended Practice 75, Development of a Safety and Environmental Management Program for Offshore Operations and Facilities, Third Edition, May 2004, reaffirmed May 2008, with respect to operations and activities under the jurisdiction of BOEMRE. This final rule will apply to all OCS oil and gas and sulphur operations and the facilities under BOEMRE jurisdiction including drilling, production, construction, well workover, well completion, well servicing, and DOI pipeline activities. This recommended practice, including its appendices, constitutes a complete Safety and Environmental Management System (SEMS) program.

This rule becomes effective on November 15, 2010. The incorporation by reference of the publication listed in the regulation is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of November 15, 2010. Operators must have their SEMS program in effect on or before November 15, 2011, except for the submission of Form MMS-131 as required in § 250.1929, and must submit Form MMS-131 on an annual basis beginning March 31, 2011.

Editor’s note: Note that this new rule does not apply to “DOT pipelines” (i.e. those subject to 49 CFR 190-199), but does apply to DOI pipelines (i.e. those under the BOEMRE’s jurisdiction, which is the old MMS). Many integrated oil companies have pipelines on the OCS that fall under both agencies’ jurisdiction. Operators of DOI regulated pipelines and facilities have very little time to develop a very comprehensive management system program. The professionals at RCP would be glad to help you with this as necessary.

For a copy of the SEMS Final Rule, contact Jessica Roger.